Through The Lens - DreamsCo

48 Dreams Left on My Way to Completing 101 Dreams Come True When I hold a camera in my hand the world becomes a different place. I see angles, tiny details, and ways to capture my experience. This past weekend, James, my photography teacher, took me to a private hillside vineyard overlooking Napa Valley. I'd forgotten my camera battery so he handed me his Cannon while he returned to the car to grab a corkscrew.

I walked the vineyard taking in the world's beautiful details: the way the sun hit a sunflower and how blue the sky looked next to its yellow petals; a bright red grape leaf against a rusted post; the way the trees framed the valley below; and how the setting sun cast light against the landscape. As I walked, a meditative calm wrapped me in presence.When James returned, I handed him the camera and became shy about my ability. His pictures are breathtaking and I feel amateur in his company. As we shared a picnic, waiting for the perfect light of the setting sun, James continued to take pictures of the little details - my feet behind a glass of wine with the moonlight in the background. Wherever he turned he saw a shot that had to be taken - a beauty the world created. He didn't worry about making it perfect, he just shot.

When orange sunlight bathed the valley in magic, I walked to the best viewpoint for sunset. From behind, I could hear James taking pictures of me. I froze, an uncomfortable feeling making every muscle tighten with anxiety. I wanted James to turn the camera away.

I've always been camera shy - seeing only the imperfections in photos of myself. People tell me how uncomfortable I look in shots and that they don't do me justice.

The more I hang out with James, the more I wonder about this camera shyness. Why can I see such beauty in the world but not in myself?

When James handed me his camera, I froze again. He was standing right behind me and I was too worried about making mistakes. I realized that I do this with everything in my life. I'm so afraid of writing badly, that sometimes I can't write at all. With skating, I get frustrated and won't practice a particular exercise for fear of experiencing imperfection. Even with posting my dreams and trying to do justice to what I've experienced, I feel the description will never be good enough.

I'm trying so hard to shoot life dirty, but it's harder than I imagined. So today, I changed dream number seventy. It now reads - Be Imperfect. I know it sounds strange, but if it's my dream to make mistakes, or to look silly or once in awhile horrible in a picture, then hopefully I can live a little more fully -  I can spend more time noticing all those little, beautiful details of the world. I can spend time wrapped up in the presence I feel when I'm seeing the world through my lens.

Last three photos on this blog were done by James Tennery. To see more of his photos go to his gallery.